Heid: It’s time to dance

You know how there are people who arrive 15 minutes early for every appointment? The whole early is on time, on time is late, and late is unforgiveable mentality?

Yeah, that’s not me.

Even pre-kids, I wasn’t typically the first to get somewhere. I wouldn’t actually be late, but I would probably skid in at the last minute out of breath and apologizing. I value punctuality and respect the time of others, but I have always struggled with leaving the house on time.

johnsmomworks by Jess Heid

johnsmomworks
by Jess Heid

Add children.

It didn’t get better.

Because I am aware of just how disrespectful it is to be late to everything, I see this as my greatest weakness. And unfortunately my kids suffer for it – mommy barking and pushing and cajoling and hurrying them along as we get ready to get out the door. I can’t imagine I’m a lot of fun when I am in that stress mold.

I try hard to take time. I try to allow John to put on his own clothes, even though he does it at a snails’ pace with trips to the playroom and the closet and the bathroom in between articles of clothing. I try to gently talk to him about focusing on the task at hand instead of pushing him to always be quicker, take less time, move ahead, keep going.

But this morning, as I fought to re-install a car seat in my car, knowing darn well that John was still in his pajamas and Charlie was still asleep in bed and we needed to leave in 17 minutes, I had a hard time keeping my cool.

I tried not to curse as I pulled the straps tight, knowing John had followed me into the garage. (An aside: children should NEVER be present for car seat installation.)

Task finally (sweatily) complete, I closed up the car and said, “OK, babe, let’s go inside and get dressed.”

Nothing. I looked around. “John?” He’s not in the garage.

Keeping my cool, I headed inside – after all, he didn’t open the garage door so he had to have retreated back into the house.

“John?” I call, a little more frantic as I can neither see nor hear him anywhere around.

I keep searching to no avail.

I can hear my husband’s alarm on his phone going off – the intro to a Dave Matthews Band song. It keeps going, so I figure he must be upstairs or in the bathroom or outside, out of reach and unable to silence it.

“John?” I cry out again, heading to the bedroom to turn off that dang phone.

“Mommy, I’m DANCING,” comes an indignant reply.

And there, in his Santa Claus pajamas (please don’t judge me) in our bedroom, is John buggying down. In that un-self conscious way only a child has, he is shaking his booty, waving his hands, and stomping his feet in time to the music.

And despite myself, I have to grin. This beautiful amazing child, in his glory dancing to a cell phone alarm. Wiggling and bumping and smiling and laughing.

So we danced for a moment, before clapping and turning off the phone and heading upstairs to get dressed.

We left the house four minutes later than we “should” have. I made up the time in an easy commute to work.

The moral of the story: for my children’s sake and my own, I will focus more on finding those dancing times than the four minutes added to our morning routine.

I will remember that those smiles, those wiggles, that moment – those are the things that matter.

And I will dance.

Thanks, John bug.

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